The Sarawak Museum Old Building was built in 1891 and was extended to its present form in 1911. The building was especially built to permanently house and display local native arts and crafts and collections of local animals as mainly encouraged by the famous naturalist, Alfred Wallace, who was then collecting specimens in the country.

Since its inception, the building has undergone several renovations and alterations. It is rectangular, 44′ x 160′ with walls and pillars of bricks and roof of belian and concrete. It has European architecture of imposing edifice in Queen Anne style (Victorian period). The galleries are lighted by dormer windows on the roof which thus allow a great area of wall space.

During the Japanese Occupation, the museum was put under the direction of a sympathetic Japanese Officer. As a result, the museum suffered very little damage and remarkably little looting.

Today, with carefully planned renovation and proper maintenance, this old building is used as the centre to exhibit collections on the natural history of Sarawak. The ground floor of the museum holds the natural history collection and specimens of Sarawak fauna – reptiles, mammals, birds, etc, all expertly prepared and mounted for display. The west wing of the museum houses Shell exhibition – petroleum industries of Sarawak.

The first floor displays exhibits of ethnographic artifacts such as models of longhouses of the various ethnic groups in Sarawak, musical instruments, various kinds of fish and animal traps, handicrafts, models of boats and others.


Extracted from Sarawak Museum


Today, in my opinion, the old Sarawak Museum buildings are one of the most beautiful buildings in Kuching. As it is still standing after 117 years I can say that it is a piece of history on its own.


Top: The Natural History Museum. Bottom: Art Museum



pssst… can someone please tell me what this sculpture supposed to be??